Vincent Finney, ofCoronation Road, Totnes, writes:
I was interested to read that the main focus of a new South Hams Councillor is local affordable housing (‘Councillor’s View’, July 13).
I then turned the page and saw an advert from an estate agent seeking additional properties to let, with such statements as “receive a stable income for less work” and “someone else paying the bills and maintaining the garden”.
Whilst I respect any politician who states their priority to be affordable housing, I wonder what do we mean by affordable and how can we realistically achieve this on a local level when the impetus isn’t there from the UK Government?
It seems to me both the Conservatives and Labour are obsessed with home ownership and show no signs of genuinely wanting to represent the interests of those of us who rent privately.
Affordable housing often means social housing which, being in such short supply, is realistically (and understandably) only available to the most desperate.
I feel fortunate to be renting privately from a person who isn’t motivated by greed but, such options are fast diminishing.
So, what is there for those of us who neither qualify for social housing nor can afford (or want) to buy property? We are left at the mercy of landlords looking for easy money and estate agents, in my opinion, encouraging such a mentality.
Unless this is addressed, and we elect people who genuinely understand the needs of the general population, then not only is homelessness going to continue to rise but, employers are going to find it increasingly difficult to find people locally to do low paid but essential work.
To put it another way, if rents continue to rise and housing options don’t increase all round, then Estate Agents and second homeowners will have to start cleaning their own toilets as only the wealthy will be able to afford to live here!